NORTHAMPTON: Sheriff’s office chaplain, jail director, charged with DWI

Kelvin Jones

BY TED SHOCKLEY, Eastern Shore Post —

The man employed as the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office chaplain and community relations coordinator was charged with driving while intoxicated on Saturday, May 11, records show.

Kelvin F. Jones, 60, of Nassawadox, who also serves as the Eastern Shore Regional Jail’s director of re-entry, was released from jail on a $1,000 unsecured bond, according to his arrest report.

Jones has an arraignment set for May 30 at 9:30 a.m. in Northampton County General District Court.

Jones was arrested at 1:17 a.m. in Northampton County after a state police trooper saw him run off the road four times in a black Hyundai car.

Northampton Sheriff David Doughty said the issue is being handled as a personnel matter.

“Administrative actions have been taken,” Doughty said.

Jones earns $55,395 annually for his sheriff’s office job, according to Northampton’s human resources department.

Jones, who has been the pastor of First Baptist Church near Capeville for more than 30 years, received statewide recognition as the pastor for former Gov. Ralph Northam, an Eastern Shore native.

Jones gave the invocation at Northam’s inauguration in 2018. He spoke during the governor’s 2020 press briefing in Richmond in the wake of the George Floyd murder in Minnesota.

Jones is being represented by Northam’s brother, Accomack attorney Thomas Northam.

Jones, when contacted, declined to comment on the charges.

In a report, Trooper G.L. Gallimore said he witnessed Jones’ car “running off the road three times” before it turned onto Birdsnest Drive “and ran off the road again.”

Gallimore said he stopped the car and asked Jones why he was swerving in the road.

“He said he was texting while driving,” according to Gallimore.

Jones refused to take a preliminary breath test and “could not stand in the instructional stance” when a field sobriety test was administered, Gallimore’s report showed.

In addition to a charge of driving while intoxicated, Jones also was charged with refusing a breath test and handling a cellphone while driving.

A Virginia Senate resolution passed in 2023 called Jones a “well-known community leader on the Eastern Shore” and honored him for hosting and organizing a tribute to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan. 23 of that year.

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